Digital placemaking as survival tactics: Sub-Saharan videos' the Moroccan-Spanish border Articles uri icon

publication date

  • January 2021

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 15


  • January

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1354-8565

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1748-7382


  • This article examines the use of digital media by irregular migrants in their preparation to cross the Moroccan&-Spanish border. Based on long-term exploratory research that includes active participation and in-depth interviews, we analyse the videos produced by sub-Saharan young males while they live in the settlements near Ceuta. By focusing on processes of self-representation and border crossing, we highlight the role of digital media as it embodies a liminal physical experience against the violence applied by the Moroccan border security forces and the surveillance systems implemented by the Spanish Guardia Civil. Departing from recent contributions to digital migration studies, this article develops the concept of digital placemaking as an assemblage of discourses and spatial practices that serve opposite interests and generate an extremely violent confrontation through the use and control of borderspace. Therefore, we claim that the migrants' placemaking strategies can be understood as mobile counter-discourses against border control. In this sense, the physical and digital activities of the migrants in the settleme


  • counter-mapping; digital border; digital placemaking; eu borders; mediation; migration studies; mobility; necropolitics; self-representation; sub-saharan migrants; surveillance; tactical placemaking